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ben harpo
Posts: 76
Location: Illinois, zone 6b
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I bought a brix meter to measure the sugar content of plants. It came with a handy chart saying what a high-low sugar content should be in the leaves of common vegetables. I also have a press to squeeze leaf juice onto the meter.

I can't afford to buy lots of soil amendments. And I don't have enough compost and mulch to be as liberal as I would like. Using the brix meter I can tell if immature vegetables are struggling or not. If they are struggling I can add more soil amendments to part of the row and tell if they make a difference, even while the plants are in their vegetative state and don't show much difference to the naked eye.



 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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would you mind elaborating a bit on how it works, where you got it and how much it cost? I haven't researched them at all, but we're growing a bunch of sorghum this coming year and I'd LOVE to have one of these... unless it's the kind that you look through like a refractometer, I'm red-green colorblind and have a little issue with blue-purple as well so not very sure how well I could use one haha...

Of course my girlfriend isn't colorblind, so I could just make that her job
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Ben - I'd like to hear more about this too. This is a tool I've been considering adding for my "simple tests" around the homestead.

See this thread: http://www.permies.com/t/31247/md/Building-permaculture-cred-simple-tests
 
William James
gardener
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Location: Northern Italy
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Awesome.
I plan to buy one maybe next year when we have the money. Brix testing, in my opinion, is a very important pathway. For those selling, more nutrients=more money. For those eating, more nutrients=better health. High brix=high nutrients. And supposedly you can taste the difference.

Yahoo brix groups:
http://www.egroups.com/neo/groups/BrixTalk/info

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RBTI/info

A brix peer-testing group.
http://nutrientdenseproject.com/

Book: Intelligent Gardener
http://www.amazon.com/The-Intelligent-Gardener-Growing-Nutrient/dp/0865717184
 
ben harpo
Posts: 76
Location: Illinois, zone 6b
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M Foti wrote:would you mind elaborating a bit on how it works, where you got it and how much it cost? I haven't researched them at all, but we're growing a bunch of sorghum this coming year and I'd LOVE to have one of these... unless it's the kind that you look through like a refractometer, I'm red-green colorblind and have a little issue with blue-purple as well so not very sure how well I could use one haha...

Of course my girlfriend isn't colorblind, so I could just make that her job



I bought mine from a vendor at the Acres conference for $75. The vendor's name is Will Winter (grassfarmersupply.com). He also sold me this awesome juice press.




Loading it is similar to making a microscope slide. The brix meter has a fixed lower glass plate and an upper hinged transparent plastic plate. 1. Use a press to drip juice onto the lower glass plate. 2. Bring upper plastic plate into contact, which automatically squeezes the juice into a uniform film between the plates. 3. Look through the eyepiece and take a reading.



The image in the eyepiece looks similar to this. Colorblindness is probably not a problem.


 
A.J. Gentry
pollinator
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Location: Ohio
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I am curious, has anyone done a side-by-side-by-side comparison with one fruit or veggie conventional grown vs. organic vs. polyculture?

Seems like it could be a quick video demonstrating how the tool works plus which food has the highest nutrient value.

A.J.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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A.J. Gentry wrote:I am curious, has anyone done a side-by-side-by-side comparison with one fruit or veggie conventional grown vs. organic vs. polyculture?

Seems like it could be a quick video demonstrating how the tool works plus which food has the highest nutrient value.

A.J.


That's a great idea. I know Geoff said in one of the videos that he had compared his stuff (organic polyculture) to conventional and his stuff was off-the-charts better.
 
Mariamne Ingalls
pollinator
Posts: 166
Location: NE Ohio (Zone 6a, on the cusp of 6b) 38.7" annual precip
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Still learning in this space, myself.

Found this youtube video demonstration of using this tool to measure brix.



Filmed by the Pantry Paratus folks.

Interesting comment in here about a connection between sugar content (brix measurement) and mineral content.

Mariamne
 
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work - Edison. Tiny ad:
Ernie and Erica Wisner's Rocket Mass Heater Everything Combo
https://permies.com/t/40993/digital-market/digital-market/Ernie-Erica-Wisner-Rocket-Mass
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